Uddhav Thackeray will be Chief Minister of India’s financial hub

uddhav_thackeray_660_221119074004MUMBAI : Uddhav Thackeray will be Chief Minister of a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance government in Maharashtra, NCP leader Sharad Pawar said after the first joint meeting of the three parties in Mumbai on Friday evening. The Sena chief has agreed to be chief minister, his party said later.

“Uddhav Thackeray has given his consent to become the chief minister,” said Raut after the Sena held talks with the Congress and the NCP in Mumbai to hammer out the final contours of the alliance. Earlier today, Raut said the Shiv Sena will get a full five-year term as CM.
Talking to reporters, Raut reiterated that his party will get the Maharashtra CM’s post when the three-party alliance with Congress and NCP assumes power. “The time for offers has ended,” Raut said, when asked about reports that the BJP had agreed to share the CM’s post with the Sena.
“We all have consensus on the name of Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister,” said Sharad Pawar, emerging from the meeting at the Nehru Science Centre. Seconds later, Uddhav Thackeray came out with his son Aaditya and said: “Discussions were positive, fruitful.”

All parties said talks would continue tomorrow but for now, it is almost certain that Maharashtra will have a Sena chief after 20 years. State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari cancelled his weekend trip to Delhi for a three-day conference and decided to stay in Mumbai, in a sign that the alliance is on track and may stake claim to power any time now.
The first Sena-NCP-Congress meeting took place more than a week after President’s Rule was imposed in Maharashtra, after elections last month gave no party a majority.
Pre-poll allies BJP and Shiv Sena won a majority together with 105 and 56 seats in the 288-member assembly but split after a bitter power tussle. The Sena insisted that BJP president Amit Shah had agreed on rotational chief ministership but the BJP repeatedly denied it.
Even at the height of their acrimonious exchanges, most believed the two would eventually patch up. After all, the BJP-Sena partnership had weathered most vicious sparring over the past few years. This time, a determined Sena did the unthinkable – turning to the ideologically contrasting NCP and Congress for support.

Last Monday, the Sena ended its alliance with the BJP, its partner for over three decades, and also pulled out its lone minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.  Talks for an unlikely Sena-NCP-Congress combo in Maharashtra picked up pace after Sonia Gandhi finally gave her approval to partnering the ideologically incompatible Sena yesterday.
Mr Pawar acted like the bridge between the Congress and the Sena and over the past two weeks, met Sonia Gandhi twice in Delhi. As the Congress waffled on its decision, Mr Pawar’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, ostensibly on the farm crisis in Maharashtra, delivered a pointed message. So did reports that an offer of President of India had been dangled before the veteran leader.
In a late night development, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his MLA-son Aaditya met NCP president Sharad Pawar in over an hour-long meeting that took place at NCP supremo’s residence ‘Silver Oak’ in South Mumbai. The sudden meeting comes as the Shiv Sena continues its effort form government in Maharashtra with the support of the NCP and the Congress.
The Thackerays called on Pawar after he arrived here from New Delhi in the evening. The Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut was also present at the meeting. However, no Congress leader was present at the meeting. “Since it was a meeting between top leaders, only they will know what transpired there. But the discussion is likely to have revolved around giving final touches to sharing of posts in the government being planned to be formed,” an NCP leader said.
The Congress is likely to have the deputy chief minister’s post for the full five-year term, they said. However, Congress sources asserted that the issue of rotational chief ministership did not come up during the discussion with the NCP.
(Bureau eport With Agency Inputs )

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